The Case that Changed America

Brown v. Board of Education Reading list

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education that declared the “separate but equal” doctrine unconstitutional, and struck down segregation in our nation’s public schools, making possible advances in desegregating housing, public accommodations, and institutions of higher education. The victory in Brown was the product of the tireless efforts of LDF lawyers, researchers, and a brave group of parents and children. 

The following books include reflections on the legal strategy that dismantled segregation, the legacy of Brown v. Board, and the voices of the students and lawyers at the center.

The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality

By Richard Kluger (1976)

An Autobiography

By Constance Baker Motley (1999)

Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality

By Tomiko Brown-Nagin (2022)

A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights(2005)

By Robert L. Carter and John Hope Franklin (2005)

Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform

By Derrick Bell (2005)

The Landmark Oral Argument Before the Supreme Court

Edited by Leon Friedman (2004)

A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High School

By Melba Patillo Beals (2007)

Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education

By Charles Ogletree (2004)

Tales of Hope and Disappointment Across Divides of Race & Time

By Beth Roy (1999)

By Ruby Bridges (1999)

The Battle Over Northern School Segregation 1865-1954

By Davison Douglass (2004)

Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and the Struggle to End Segregation

Rawn James Jr. (2010)

James Meredith and the Battle of Oxford, Mississippi 1962

By William Doyle (2003)

The Journey to School Integration

By Toni Morrison (2004)

The School Busing Case and the Supreme Court

By Bernard Schwartz (1986)

Children in America's Schools

By Jonathan Kozol (2012)

Must the South Turn Back?

Edited By John Charles Boger & Gary Orfield (2009)

Brown vs. Board of Education

The Case That Changed America

Learn more about the history of the landmark case, key players, and how Brown vs. Board shaped our nation.